annie blog

How I Met My Valentine


How I Met My Valentine
I’m walking down memory lane today. Would you like to join me?
Let’s start with a picture. Here we are. This was taken the second time we met.

Wow. Don’t we look young?

I love to know how people, couples, met. It is always so interesting — even if it’s “well, we were best friends first” or “we met at RUF” or “we were high school sweethearts”. Awww. That is all very nice.

Our story was a bit different.

I met Jon at the interviews for a college scholarship. It was the scholarship for this university. So, even getting an interview for it was a big deal. I think that there were like 12 students interviewing for 5 scholarships. After the interview, all of the parents and students then had a luncheon with all of the big wigs at the university (the members of the scholarship committee) in one of the ballrooms. At the luncheon there were 12 tables, one student per table with his or her family and 3 or so members of the scholarship committee. Only at our table, it was my mother and father and me and Jon — because he had forgotten to invite his family. Whoever assigned the seating put him with us.

It was a nice luncheon. All of my nervousness for the day was just about over, and I was starting to enjoy myself and actually begin to take in everything that was happening when the conversation at the table turned to politics. Specifically, the Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas hearings. (How’s that for dating myself?) Oh my. I should mention here that my dear father is a yellow-dog democrat. And, he has a way of just saying whatever it is that he is thinking. So he gave his version of what he thought about the hearings. When my father makes statements about politics, they are in the same tone of voice and manner of speaking as he would use to talk about the weather. I don’t think that he dreamed that anyone would challenge him. Did I mention that Jon is a conservative? Shall we say a red-blooded Elephant Republican? Before we knew it, a very spirited debate was raging at our table. My mother was kicking my Dad under the table to try to get him to be quiet and eyeing me with a “Oh, my goodness, can you believe that he is talking about this?!!!” kind of look. Meanwhile, Jon was toeing the line against my Dad and not giving in an inch. The scholarship committee members were looking very interested and a little amused at the turn of events at our table. I remember that their eyes sort of went from my Dad to Jon and then back to my Dad — kind of like spectators at a tennis match. Finally, after much debate and points and counterpoints between Jon and my Dad, they at last decided to agree to disagree.

Later, on the way back to Alabama, my Mom was giving her ideas about the happenings of the day, and she said that she didn’t know who else would be getting the scholarship, but that she was pretty sure that I would get it, “and that little Jonathan, too. He definitely will.” Even my Dad agreed that while Jon was, of course, completely mistaken about politics, that he was a very nice young man.

Isn’t it weird that I met my husband at the very same time as my parents?

Later, that spring, we both did receive the scholarship (my mother was right) and were invited back for an awards luncheon. That’s where the above picture was taken.

It still seems like yesterday to me.

So, thank you, unknown person who sat Jon at my table. Thank you.

And, Jon, thank you for forgetting to invite your parents.

Happy Valentine’s Day.


  1. That might be the last time I ever wore a wristwatch!

    I love you, Annie! I was going to thank you for not being cynical about Valentine’s day this year, but then I just remembered it is Mother’s day that you don’t like. You also introduced me to a new holiday in college – “Sweetest Day”. You gave me a card for “Sweetest Day” that said, “It’s Sweetest Day – I had no idea”. Very thoughtful.

    Have a fun day with our eccentric children. Split some Cabernet Savignon later on Thursday night?

  2. Oh, I just remembered what they served at that Luncheon – those stuffed chicken breasts… Hilarious.

  3. Happy Valentine’s, y’all do look young! I can’t believe how long ago college is getting to be. Of course that oh so young couple was, and still is, a huge blessing to me! I will always think of that time as when God “plucked” me out, and He definitely used you and Jon to do it. Soooo many good and sweet memories of you two, you crazy kids!

  4. Wow! That a great story…and a great picture! I think Gaines wore glasses just like that when we met…

    Quick version — we were at two different colleges, I was at BSC in Alabama and Gaines was at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. We met when I decided to take a roadtrip with perfect strangers (friends of people I knew) who just happened to HIS friends from church. It was an Andrew Peterson, Justin McRoberts, Bebo Norman concert in Asheville, NC, on Feb. 11th, 2000. I liked the group so much that when they asked me to come along to the NEXT concert (in Colombia, SC) to hang out and babysit AP’s kids, I did. (Also to watch a little-known film called Vernon, Fl!) Gaines and I ended up next to each other in the car, talking, and the rest is history…

  5. I had those same glasses 😉

    I remember having to interview three couples about how they met, etc. for one of my counseling classes at CTS. You guys, the Moyers, and the Farleys…much more enjoyable than I expected! Thanks for the story and the pic!

  6. Wow, fantastic story. But then what happened? Was it LAFS (love at first sight)?

    Does your dad still argue with Jon??

  7. I think we all had those glasses.

    Ah, Vernon FL – no movie like it. I love the old dude with all the critters in boxes.

  8. Bobber – there’s more to the story than how we met. Perhaps Ann can tell that one another time. It involves a double date (she with a friend of mine, I with a friend of hers) that she didn’t know was a double date, a disgruntled football fanatic (my friend), and our appetites for a Subway sandwich when everything else was closed.

  9. Okay, that is an amazing story – I really enjoyed it! And yes, you do look young, but not too much younger than now!

  10. Ditto to what Jessie said. Other than the big glasses, you don’t look much different now. Happy Valentines Day!

  11. Just saw this. Gosh, Jon– you looked like you just graduated from Hogwarts.

  12. *mush, mush*

    Thanks for sharing that!

  13. Uh, I thought that was a recent picture until I read otherwise……wow, you all are still young.

    That is a really great story.

  14. That is hilarious.

    When I saw the picture, I thought I saw my husband in his early years on the debate team! He had those same glasses.

    He also has pictures of himself at democratic functions and somewhere smiling next to a Kennedy. Yes, he used to be a democrat.

    It was so nice to hear your story. I especially enjoyed how you thanked the unknown person.

  15. Incidences like these highlight the sovereignty of God in a spectacular way, don’t they? Cool story…

    Except for your fashion-sense, you don’t seem to have changed one bit, Annie!

  16. What a wonderful story. I could just picture Aunt S in my mind doing that cause I have seen her do it in person when Uncle J was on a roll. Just got to love Uncle J though… He is one of a kind…

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